It is a well-documented fact in the specialty coffee world that one of the easiest way to up your coffee game is through buying a quality burr grinder. But the problem is that there is an almost endless amount of different burr grinders on the market. Manual or Automatic? Steel burrs or ceramic? Conical or flat plate? Cheap or more expensive than your coffee machine?
And that is part of the reason that I am really excited to finally review the Aergrind produced by Made by Knock. I have been using this grinder for well over a year now and have found it to be superb in build quality, grind consistency, and ease of use.
The Aergrind is a burr grinder that is intentionally designed to be compact and lightweight without compromising on quality. This makes it a great choice for those who travel regularly or do a lot of hiking. I have literally used this everywhere from our kitchen, to campsites, to backpacking.
Aergrind by Knock
This hand grinder is a superb buy for those who are looking for a compact hand grinder that doesn’t compromise on quality. It boasts 38mm black steel burrs, a hand crank that doubles as a bottle opener, and it can even fit inside an Aeropress.
The Aergrind Review
What’s to Love about knock Aergrind?
The Aergrind is the brainchild of the small business Made by Knock which is based out of Edinburgh Scotland. This is a small company that has made a name for itself in producing grinders out of the highest quality of materials. The Aergrind was not their first burr grinder and was actually the product of a Kickstarter campaign in 2017 which received sufficient funding after a single day!
Part of what is unique about the Aergrind is that it fits into the rather narrow niche of hand grinders between the entry-level Hario’s and Portlex’s and the high-end Comandante’s and Kino’s. This is a hand grinder that clearly fits into the premium hand grinder category and yet is far more affordable than many of its counterparts.
However, one of the downsides of the Aergrind is that because it is produced by a small company, supply can be an issue. If you are looking to buy one, you can buy one off their website, but we recommend purchasing one off your nearest supplier as the wait time is usually shorter. You can get a list of the suppliers here.
Designed to Accompany the Aeropress
As you hopefully picked up from the name, the Aergrind is intentionally designed to be used with the Aeropress. And my experience has been that it nails this goal.
The Aergrind is built so that it can slip into the Aeropress itself for that hiking adventure or business trip. Its dimensions are 14.4 cm high by 4.7 cm wide with a total weight of 360g. The almost unanimous consensus of users (including myself) is that if Aeropress is your thing, then the Aergrind should be your grinder.
It also performs particularly well in terms of the grind consistency for the grind sizes that are often used for Aeropress.
Ease of Use
As with most hand grinders, the Aergrind is very easy to both use and maintain. You simply set your relevant grind setting, pour your beans into the top chamber, put on the dial lip and hand crank, and then grind away. The grinds then fall into the grinds container which is nice and tight and so can’t accidentally drop.
This grinder really is a pleasure to use. While some users have found it hard to navigate the grind settings system, that hasn’t been my experience at all. It is a stepless grinder which means that it can easily cover anything from fine to very coarse grind settings.
To change the grind setting you simply place the dial lid on the grinder, insert the hank crank, hold the dial lip, and then turn the hank crank to your desired grind size. In terms of grind speed it usually takes me about 1 minute to grind 17g of beans to a fairly fine grind size for Aeropress.
Because this is a relatively narrow hand grinder, pouring the beans into the upper chamber can be a mission. However, the funnel that comes with an Aeropress fits perfectly on top of the Aergrind and so makes life a heck of a lot easier.
However, it is worth noting that for some mysterious reason when you buy the Aergrind it comes with no instruction manual whatsoever. You can find instructions on the forum thread here.
Made by Knock particularly pride themselves on the quality of the materials used for their grinders. The 38mm conical burrs are made from hardened Nerost Black Steel and the body of the grinder and shaft are also fully metal. And my own experience is that it just feels like it is well made. The weight and cool steel just feels like quality when you use it as opposed to some cheaper and lighter hand grinders.
When you buy the Aergrind it comes in a cardboard cylinder that contains the grinder, the silicone sleeve, the silicone holster for the grinder handle, the hank crank, and spare o-rings.
Ultimately the biggest question to be asked of any burr grinder is what is the grind consistency like? If it doesn’t perform well here then it is simply a waste of good money. And my experience has been that the grind consistency is excellent. I use this grinder mainly for Aeropress as well as occasionally for Pour Over and Cold Brew. And for these brewing methods it has exceeded my expectations and produced some delicious cups of coffee.
As with most hand grinders, the Aergrind would struggle to do either the very coarse grinds required for French Press or the very fine grinds needed for espresso (although who would ever want to hand grind for espresso!?). It really is a grinder that is aimed to be used alongside manual brewing methods. It is also worth noting that some users have found that it can produce more fines that they would like when grinding for V60. However, again this hasn’t been my experience.
Overall, the answer is that it performs very well for the niche it is trying to reach. As mentioned earlier this fits into the cheaper end of the premium hand grinder category. As such it does perform far better than the cheaper hand grinders such as the Portlex Mini, or the JavaPresse. But if you are a coffee perfectionist and the number of fines and TDS are your thing, then this may not perform to the level you are looking for. If so we recommend paying a bit extra and getting either the Lido 3 or the Comandante.
It is also worth noting that the grind size classifications are slightly different from other hand grinders. So grind sizes on the Aergrind will usually be indicated by something like 2:1. What this refers to is full revolutions of the hand crank as the first number and then the number on the dial lip as the second number. So 2:1 would be two full revolutions of the hand crank, and then turn to the number one. It may sound a bit confusing but is actually very easy to get your head around when you have the grinder in front of you.
So who is the Aergrind Grinder for?
The Aergrind is a superb option for the coffee lover who usually only brews 1-2 cups at a time, is looking for a compact grinder, and is unwilling to compromise on quality.
I have loved owning and using the Aergrind by Knock. Before buying it, I had some qualms about the limited amount of beans it could grind at one time and the grind consistency, but it has exceeded my expectations. This is a quality grinder that has had no issues for me and that I look forward to using each day.
While this hand grinder can work well with most manual brewing methods (non-espresso), it really does come into its own when paired with the Aeropress. So if you are part of the Aeropress fan club (figurative not literal!) and you are looking for a grinder to pair with your Aeropress, then this is a fantastic option. It is well made, highly portable and hardy, and is perhaps THE traveling/hiking grinder.
I have loved my Aergrind and highly recommend it.